West Coast And Hawaii Weekly Surf Forecast

I’m starting to think that the North Pacific Ocean is a zombie. It just won’t die out… every time it looks like it is about to finally lay down it staggers back to its feet and gets to cranking out more swell-generating storms…


Not that I am really complaining… swell is a good thing after all… it is just a bit weird to see this stretch of ocean staying this active outside of its proper season. Maybe it will zombie around for a few more weeks so that we can get some zombie WNW-NW swell to mix with some proper Southern Hemi energy.

Forecast-wise…I know it is hard to see under my incredibly awesome drawing (probably the best zombie ever) there are a couple of areas of decent sea heights… one right in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska and the other off to the NW of Hawaii by a couple thousand miles. These two storms will be sending waves to both Hawaii and the West Coast over the next several days.

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Both storms are a little higher in latitude than some of the real “winter” storms we had a couple of months ago so most of the energy is being aimed at Hawaii and along the West Coast, from Point Conception northward. SoCal will be getting a little bit of these swells but the swell angles are pretty steep for the region, which means that the surf will end up being a lot smaller.

Long-range charts aren’t ready to give up on the NPAC either… check it out:


This is the swell-heights at the very end of the current forecast run. You aren’t going color blind… that really is a big ass red blob pushing swell all over the North Pacific. BUT, and it is a bit BUT, this storm is about 6-7 days away from forming… and generally the odds of the 7 day forecast being even “sort of accurate” are pretty low. Sure anytime a giant red-purple blob is showing on the swell model anywhere near your surf spots you should keep an eye on it… but I wouldn’t commit a lot of resources to trying to score off this bad boy… give the swell model a few more days to shake-n-bake this one… I bet we will see it start to level off a bit as we get closer.

The South Pacific is still trying to get the Southern Hemi storm track in gear. There is a decent S-SW swell that got pushed out from a storm to the SE of New Zealand last week. The swell hit the south shores of Hawaii pretty good (after walloping Tahiti first) and is currently filling in along the West Coast. Unfortunately, after this bigger storm, the storm-track flattened out and there have been some gaps between the good systems, which while it won’t make the summer spots go totally flat, it won’t do us any favors either.


Storm conditions are forecast to improve over the next couple of days… with a decent storm pushing off Antarctica and making a good N-NNE movement as it intensifies. This will set up some new S-SSW swell for Southern California, Mexico, and Central America… it won’t be the biggest swell but it is coming from a relatively unshadowed area of the swell window which adds in a lot more consistency compared to the more SW’erly swell directions. I expect this swell to move into the exposed areas around April 4-5th… showing biggest down in Central America/Mexico… but with some fun sizes in the regions further north as well.

Here are the details for each of the regions… more on the sizes/periods and arrival times in the sections below…

A solid N swell just hit the islands and had the surf going easily double-triple overhead at most of the exposed breaks. This swell will hold some decent well-overhead+ surf into Wednesday and then start to slowly drop off through the end of the week. Trades look pretty typical… East around 15-20 knots for the next several days as well. There will be a smaller WNW-NW swell that fills in on Friday to help the fading swell from earlier in the week… this one is considerably smaller than the first N swell but it will still have enough energy to be playful and fun at most of the exposed spots. Long-range charts show a storm way out on the end that could set up another round of 10-12’ of deepwater NNW-N swell to fill in on next Tuesday (Mar 30). This storm will likely form up later this week so keep an eye out for it.

Northern/Central California
A new round of WNW-NW swell (290-320) moves in on Wednesday and will eventually peak over Thursday night into Friday. This bad boy is one of those lovely springtime blends of medium-period energy from the storm as it is off the coast and then the local NW windswell that pushes in as a result of the storm front passing over the area. Once the swell starts to really fill in expect surf in the overhead to well overhead range for most spots… and some near double-overhead stuff at the really exposed NW facing spots. NW winds around 10-20 knots will be on tap for most days along with on and off rain showers that will pepper the coast through the end of the week. Long-range forecasts are showing more WNW-NW energy moving in early next week, likely on Monday, that will quickly push the surf into the double-triple overhead range for the better exposed spots. This swell will be followed by an even bigger shot of WNW-NW energy that arrives and peaks Wednesday and on into Thursday with surf possibly nearing the 20’ range at the best exposed breaks. Weather may be pretty shady with next weeks swell… but we will have to watch how the charts shake out over the next couple of days.

Southern California
The combo of SW swell (200-220) and NW swell (290-300) will continue to peak on Wednesday… holding most spots in the chest-shoulder high range with some overhead sets showing at the best combo spots. Look for these swells to start to fade on Thursday but a new round of NW swell (290-300) fills in through the background to shift a little more of the focus back to the winter spots. The NW’er will fill in more on Friday as local windswell helps to pile on some energy… unfortunately the SW swell starts to fade out slowly over the weekend. Still we can expect plenty of chest-shoulder high surf at the well-exposed spots through the end of the week and on into the weekend. By Sunday we will have more combo energy moving in from both the NPAC and the SPAC that will start to push wave heights back up slightly. Long-range has another round of WNW-NW swell (280-300) showing on Monday (March 29) that will send in some shoulder-head high surf to the standout winter spots. That isn’t all either… the really long-range forecast models are starting to show a chance at some more combo swell arriving during the first few days of April. Spring apparently is the new winter!

Next forecast will be on Friday, check back in for the latest update…

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster